Climate and emissions
Climate change has the potential to affect every aspect of our lives, from the health and integrity of natural systems, to economic prosperity and community health and wellbeing.
Responding effectively to climate change involves both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and being ready to adapt to climate change impacts as they occur.
Council has been actively addressing climate change for many years. Our Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan sets out Council's response to climate change. As part of the plan, Council has completed a number of actions to save energy and water and reduce Council greenhouse gas emissions.
Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan
The Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan sets out Council's response to climate change. It aims to reduce the total Council energy emissions by 80% from the 2005/06 baseline by 2030, and source 100% of Council’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
The plan details the actions that Council will take to achieve the emissions reduction target, and how we will support the community to respond to climate change. The plan is about managing the financial costs related to Council's emissions, from operating the local water and sewer services, the landfills, the community pools and buildings, to the fuel related to maintaining the local roads. The plan also builds on the achievements made under previous Greenhouse Action Plans over the period 2007 to 2017.
Key actions for Council to reduce emissions include:
- continued efforts in energy efficiency
- renewable energy
- reducing methane pollution from landfill
- investigating large-scale solar, battery storage and other renewable energy options
- facilitating electric car charging infrastructure
- developing a Council Climate Adaptation Strategy.
The outcomes achieved over the past 10 years has demonstrated that emission reductions can deliver both strong environmental and economic benefits. Completed actions have generated significant energy cost savings totalling over $1million per year.
Council will continue working on a range of strategies and implement a number of new actions detailed in the plan.
Prior to its adoption by Council, the draft plan attracted 27 submissions from the community and overwhelmingly supported Council's ongoing emissions reduction activities. The Climate Council of Australia was among those who made a submission, acknowledging Council's leadership in the field with an invitation to partner with other leading councils in the new Cities Power Partnership program.
Climate change: Cities Power Partnership Program
Eurobodalla Council has joined other councils around Australia in pledging to cut energy emissions as part of the Cities Power Partnership Program.
An initiative of the Climate Council, the partnership brings together cities and towns around Australia that are leading the way in cutting their emissions. The partnership gives Council the chance to work with like-minded councils on new ways to reduce emissions, while making financial savings at the same time.
Council has pledged five key actions to reduce its climate impact, including:
- powering Council operations by renewable energy
- rolling out more energy-efficiency measures, including LED streetlights
- identifying waste-to-energy opportunities.
Solar power roll-out
Twenty per cent of electricity used by Council is sourced from renewable energy. We have installed over 3,000 solar panels at 28 Council facilities across Eurobodalla Shire. The solar panels can produce over 750kW of power when the sun shines.
Using solar power saves over 1000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and over $180,000 a year in energy costs.
Community Building Sustainability Project
In 2013 Council began a sustainability project to target energy use in 50 community buildings, including Narooma Library and Hanging Rock Basketball Stadium. The process involved generating an energy report and retrofitting some water and energy efficient tools to help reduce energy use. The report highlighted potential works that Council could do to reduce operational costs further.
The project aimed to reduce CO2 by 365 tonnes and water use by 3,395 kL per year.
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- E: Heidi Thomson